13 Best Options Trading Platforms & Brokers 2023 [TOP-RATED]

Review of the Top Options Trading Platforms with comparison. Select the best Options Trading Platforms of your choice from this exclusive list to trade options online and/or offline:

Options are tradable financial instruments sold and bought in the form of contracts through licensed online or retail brokers.

These are asset derivatives, meaning they are financial instruments based on or derived from underlying assets such as stocks, equities, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies, and other financial assets. Options are traded for speculative or risk-hedging purposes.

In trading options contracts, a trader buys or sells these contracts without necessarily owning the underlying assets.

All the trader has to do is place a bet on the direction of price movement (stating a specific price that makes him bet on whether there will be an increase or fall in price) by agreeing to buy or sell the contract at a specified price at a specified expiration date.

Options Trading Platforms / Software – Complete Review

Best Options Trading Platforms

This tutorial looks at the idea of options, types of options, how to trade options, and the different best options trading platforms to trade options online and/or offline.

Market Trends: As can be seen in the chart below, the trading volumes for US options have been on a general upward trend since the start of this decade. Over 5.84 billion contracts have been traded this year alone.

US options daily trading volumes on average

[image source]

Expert Advice:

  • When trading options, the best options trading platforms/software are decided based on fees and commissions, minimum balance and deposit requirements, order types and strategies available, availability of other assets for diversified investors, types of options to trade, margins, and margin rates for leverage traders.
  • Also when deciding on the best options trading software, you need to check out for the platforms that have advanced trade research and analytic tools, tools that enable you to quickly and easily analyze and discover trade opportunities over a wide range of factors, demo accounts, and educational resources, customizable charting, daily or weekly commentaries from experts, broker-assisted trades, copy trading, and other tools to calculate potential profit/loss from trade opportunities.

What are Options and How do they Work

An options contract will give the trader the right and not the obligation to buy or sell it at a specified future price or strike price by an agreed expiration date.

The right means the trader can buy or sell the contract before the expiration date (for American options only) or at the expiration date (European options can only be exercised this way). The buyer will pay a premium for the right to buy the contract.

Call options allow the contract holder to buy an amount of the underlying asset at a stated price or strike price before the contract expiration date.

Put options allow the contract holder to sell an amount of the underlying asset at a specified price before the expiration of the contract. They are traded on options brokers and other platforms either for speculative reasons or depending on whether the trader thinks or knows the price will rise or fall in the future.

For hedging purposes, options are bought to protect an investor against losses that may arise from a declining stock or another asset market.

Selling an option through options brokers can be used to limit downside risk related to some stocks (or other assets) cost-effectively. Short sellers can also use call options to limit losses if the price of an underlying asset moves against their trade, especially during a short squeeze.

The price of options is derived from, dependent on, or based on the price of underlying assets- stocks, futures, cryptos, ETFs, equities, etc and thus they are termed as derivatives. Thus an options contract tied to a specific stock or other asset goes up if the price of that asset is deemed to go up, say, because of a future event.

Hence, valuing an options contract requires the trader to determine the probabilities of future price events. They can do so through fundamental and/or technical analyses.

Options are also less valuable as the duration of the contract moves toward expiration because the chances of price movement diminish as the expiration date draws near.

However, the probability of a price moving in your favor increases with the increase in the contract period thus a three-month option may be more valuable than a one-month contract. Options become wasteful if the price does not move.

Nevertheless, strikes cost more with an increase in the contract period and the effect of this is felt more if and when there is no movement in the price of the underlying asset.

Options have become pricier with an increase in volatility in the underlying assets. This is because larger price swings in the up or down direction increase the odds of an outcome for a call or put options.

The price of an option or the premium can be thought of as a combination or sum of the intrinsic value and the time (extrinsic) value. The intrinsic value of the call option is the amount above the strike price that the stock or asset is trading.

Time value is the added value an investor has to pay. The time value is created from the probability of the event happening and is not zero in most cases, which means options always trade at a price above the intrinsic value.

Types of Options

#1) Calls: Call options become more valuable with an increase in the price of underlying assets or security. A long call is for a contract that speculates on a rise in the price of the underlying asset.

A trader will pay a premium for the right to buy the contract at a specified strike price on or before the expiration date. If the market price of the underlying asset increases, the trader still pays the agreed price as locked by paying the premium and hence makes a profit from the difference.

If the contract expires, the trader will pay the market price. In both cases, the seller keeps the premium. In cases where the market price falls, the buyer’s loss is the premium.

#2) Applications: Traders can use options on US dollars to hedge against a decline in purchasing power. Call options can be used to hedge against the position of the declining price of an asset or commodity.

American depository receipt holders can use call options on the dollar to hedge against declines in dividend payments. Call options are used by short sellers to hedge against their positions.

#3) Puts: A long put is a short position since the put price increases as the underlying asset price falls. A protective put provides a trader with a price floor to hedge positions.

A trader who bets on the price of an underlying asset to fall makes a profit if they buy a put option and they then exercise the option when that price falls within or on the expiry date. If the market price does not drop, they make a loss equivalent to the premium they paid for the right to sell the contract.

#4) Applications: A put option acts as insurance to protect one from future price fall against the underlying assets. Buyers use puts to hedge their positions against rising commodity/asset prices.

Put options on the dollar that can be used by manufacturers in foreign countries to hedge against a decline in their native currency for payment. American exporters can hedge against a rise in selling costs by using puts.

How to Trade Options: Options Trading Strategies

  1. Traders, in most cases, need to be approved by the broker to trade options.
  2. Those buying options are known as holders while that selling is called writers. Buyers of calls and puts only incur the premium paid on contracts because they are not obligated to buy or sell contracts.
  3. Sellers or writers of calls or puts are obligated to buy or sell if the contract expires in the money. Hence the risks may be unlimited because they must make good on the promise to buy or sell.

Types of Options and How to Trade Them

Simple types of options are explained in the image below:

simple options types explained

[image source]

#1) There are various buying and selling scenarios, buy calls in which case you hold a long position, sell calls in which case you hold a short position, selling naked or uncovered calls in which case you have a potential short position. Buying puts gives you a potential short position while selling naked or unmarried puts gives you a potential long position.

#2) Call-and-put options are helpful if they can limit losses and maximize gains. For this reason, buying call options have unlimited gains by betting on the price of the underlying asset to increase since there is no limit to which this increase can occur.

The loss is also capped to the premium paid because that is all the trader loses when the price of the underlying asset falls. Buying put options limits on the gains since the buyer is betting the price on falling to earn a profit, yet the price cannot fall below zero. At the same time, the losses are capped to the premium paid if the bet goes wrong.

#3) For writers or sellers of short-call option contracts, the trader is selling a call option and not buying one. They bet the price will decrease within a time and since it is a naked call, the profits are also unlimited since they can rake in money from call buyers.

However, to get such benefits, they need to own the actual underlying asset as an option so they will not have to incur significant losses by buying back the asset as required if the price goes against their bets.

Covered options are where the writers own the underlying assets to limit the losses. These options hence limit the profits and gains since the trader will not have to buy back the assets underlying the contract if the price moves against their bet. The maximum profit is limited to premiums collected.

Writers can buy the options when they are close to the money. The covered calls can help traders generate income from their stock holdings and balance out tax gains made from other trades.

#4) Short puts are used by options writers when they are certain that the price of underlying assets will increase. They write the options betting that the price of an underlying asset will increase and then sell it to buyers.

This way, the writer’s options are limited to premiums collected from buyers but the losses can be limitless if they have to buy back the underlying assets when the price goes against their bet. Traders can buy back the options when the price is close to the money.

#5) Traders can use a combination of buy call and put options where both have the same strike price and expiration. The position called a straddle, is used if the trader is sure there will be a dramatic price jump but is unsure of the direction.

The strategy pays off if there is a dramatic jump in price but loses through premiums in both cases where the price remains relatively stable.

Advanced Types of Options and How to Trade Them

  • A strangle is a strategy where the trader buys a call and a put but both have different strikes and the same expiration. This way, the strategy benefits most if there is a huge price movement in price in either direction due to volatility but is less expensive than a straddle.
  • A short straddle or short strangle makes the most profit if the market price does not move much.
  • Traders can use spreads – two or more options positions of the same class since they cost less than single-leg options. These strategies combine speculation and hedging. They, however, limit the potential upside.
  • Selling one option to buy another is called vertical spreads. In most cases, both options are of the same type and expire but have different strikes.
  • Buying a call and selling another simultaneously where both have the same expiration but the second has a higher strike, creates a bull call vertical spread. The strategy is most profitable when the underlying asset price increases but the upside is limited due to the short call strike. The cost of buying, however, is lower.
  • Calendar spreads or time spreads are created when the buy and sell put option contract expiration is different.
  • Buying a put and a second put where the second has a lower strike but both have the same expiration is called a bear put spread or bear put vertical spread.
  • If the options are of the same type (either call or put) and same expiration but all have different equally spaced three strikes, these are called butterfly spreads. The butterfly has two outside strikes known as the wings of a butterfly and an inside strike known as the body of the butterfly. If the ratio of the strikes is 1:2:1 (buy one, sell two, buy one) it is called a long butterfly otherwise it is not.
  • A condor is related to a butterfly but the middle options are at different strike prices.
  • Synthetics (trades comprising a combination of a call and put) is a position created in situations where the trader is restricted to buy the underlying asset by regulatory or other reasons. It allows you to create a position that mimics owning and trading the underlying asset. For instance, you can create a synthetic long position by buying calls and selling puts of the same amount at the same strike and expiration.
  • Traders can also use box options to create synthetic loans. These spreads behave like zero-coupon bonds till expiry.
  • Short-term options expire within a year hence their time value and extrinsic value decay rapidly. The main risk is the short duration. These types are common during underlying asset events like earnings announcements or major news developments.
  • Long-term options expire in a year or later (here called LEAPs), which diminishes their time value. The main risk to long-term options is leverage while that of LEAPs is an inaccurate assessment of the asset’s future value. While long-term options are more expensive than short-term ones, LEAPs are underpriced as it is difficult to estimate price performance in the future. Long-term assets are used as a proxy to hold shares in a company toward an expiration date but LEAPs are used to hedge long-term positions in a given security. The latter expires in January.

Risks of Trading Options

  • The risks involved in trading options include their sensitivity to price changes (measured by delta in the options table), price sensitivity to time decay (measured by theta in the options table), price sensitivity to volatility changes (measured by Vega in the options table), and price sensitivity to changes in interest rates (measured by Rho in the options table).
  • Other factors to consider when trading options and reading the options table include the pen interest number which defines the total number of contracts opened and the implied bid volatility which defines the future uncertainty of price direction and speed.

FAQs on Options Trading Software

Q #1) What are the four types of options?

Answer: Traders can trade options in four types: buying a call option, selling a call option, buying a put option, and selling a put option. The buyer of call options places a bet that the price of the underlying asset will increase while the buyer does not think so.

The buyer of the put option expects the price to fall, unlike the seller.

Q #2) Is options trading better than stocks trading?

Answer: Options do not require a trader to buy and own the underlying stocks and assets and may be deemed less costly. This means they are less risky. They are considered safer because they can be used to hedge positions against risks.

Q #3) What is an option in trading?

Answer: Options are tradable financial instruments sold or bought in the form of a contract that gives the holder the right to sell or buy an underlying asset at a given agreed strike price and on or before a specified and agreed strike price.

Q #4) How do you trade options for beginners?

Answer: These are:

Step #1: Open a trading account online or offline with an options trading broker. Most brokers require that you prove you know how to trade them and how it works. There will be some basic testing.

Step #2: Pick the options you can buy or sell, either put or call options. Predict the price movement. This may be done through trading analyses and an understanding of the market. This type of option is determined by your assessment of whether the price will move up or down.

Buy a call option if and when you think the price will increase, sell a call or put option if and when you think the price will stay stable, and buy a put option or sell a call option if and when you think the price will go down.

The analysis helps you predict the option strike price such that it will close ‘in the money,’ which means above the strike if it is a call option and below if it is a put option. You need to choose a strike price that reflects your analyses’ predictions.

Step #3: Determine the time frame of the option. Choices are limited to those offered by the broker. Each contract has an expiration date. It depends if you are using European or American options. The former can only be exercised on the expiration date but the latter can be exercised on or before that date.

Q #5) Are options gambling?

Answer: No, there is a difference between the two. While gambling relies on it and is a game of pure chance, options do not rely on chances. The latter is a method for reducing risks associated with owning assets and securities.

Q #6) How to pick the best broker for options trading platforms? 

Answer: Most people consider trading fees when choosing a broker. A good broker needs to have demo trading tools for new traders, and pro trading tools for pro traders including high-quality trade research tools. Above all, they need to have responsive customer service.

List of the BEST Options Trading Platforms

A popular list of best options trading platforms for beginners:

  1. Interactive Brokers
  2. e*Trade
  3. Fidelity
  4. Tradier Brokerage
  5. Ally Invest
  6. Webull
  7. Merrill Edge
  8. Lightspeed
  9. TradeStation
  10. Tastyworks
  11. Charles Schwab
  12. TD Ameritrade
  13. Robinhood

Comparison Table of the TOP Option Broker

BrokerageAccount minimum Platforms to trade onFees/commission
Interactive Brokers $0Web, mobile, and desktop.IBKR Lite charges $0.65 per contract for a price of $0.10 or more; $0.50 per contract for a price of $0.05 to $0.09; and $0.25 per contract for a price of $0.05 or less.
e*Trade $0. At least $500 for automated investment strategies. Mobile Android and iOS, and two web apps namely E-Trade Web and Power E-Trade. $0.65 per contract without a base commission. Discounted fee of $0.50 for traders who do 30 or more trades per quarter. $1.50 futures options per contract. $0 base for index options.
Fidelity $0Desktop PC and MAC-based Active Trader Pro, Android and iOS, and web.Free for US online traders, $0.65 per contract. Activity assessment fees for sell orders ($0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). Options regulatory fee ($0.02 to $0.04) also apply. $0 for buy to close orders of $0.65 and less.
Tradier Brokerage $0 ordinary accounts. Trading advanced strategies such as writing uncovered puts ($10,000), uncovered calls ($50,000), and uncovered index options ($100,000). Margin trading requires $2,000.Mobile apps (Android and iOS), web app, desktop.$10 monthly subscription for commission-free trades or pay $0.35 per contract. Other fees include $50 inactivity fee for US accounts making fewer than two trades per year. $9 per order product fees.
Ally Invest $0Mobile (iOS and Android), web, and desktop platforms.Commission-free trading plus $0.50 per contract.

Detailed reviews:

#1) Interactive Brokers

Best for intermediate through advanced investors.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers, which allows for trading of multiple asset types, offers 30+ global options markets for traders, a professional trading platform, and advanced tools for trading (its options trading software includes GlobalTrader, a Mobile app, and IMPACT app).

This is one of the options trading platforms that allows traders to place multiple trades across different asset classes, side by side, on a single screen. It features advanced tools for options trading as well as learning materials on options trading.


  • Write and sell covered options or buy protective puts. Analyze and adjust option-to-stock volume ratios.
  • Roll-over options after expiry to a different expiration date.
  • Create simple to advanced combination order types. Use the builder to customize multi-legged combination orders. Choose from pre-defined combinations such as straddles, strangles, butterflies, and condors.
  • Generate option combinations based on forecasts for stock, ETF prices, and other variables.
  • Analyze prices, times, and implied volatility and see their impact on premiums.
  • Use Options Portfolio to research low-cost options strategies per your defined objectives and for different Greek risk dimensions.
  • Compare and contrast options data for different assets.
  • Trade on margins for margin rates of up to around 6.33% (+2.5%) depending on the USD balance and whether using a Pro or Lite account.
  • Zero cash account minimum.

How to trade options on IBKR:

Step #1: Create and verify an account. Fund the account via bank wire and bank cards.

Step #2: Do analyses such as finding open interests, options chains, strike prices, etc. Create orders and start trading options.

Supported Platforms: Web, mobile, and desktop.


  • Low options commission of between $0.15 and $0.65 per US option contract. This depends on your monthly volume and whether using a Pro or Lite account.
  • No added spreads, ticket charges, platform fees, or account minimums on commissions above.
  • Multiple (9) other tradable securities include stocks, bonds, crypto, mutual funds, and ETFs.
  • Discounts for large trades done on Pro account packages.
  • Order watch lists.
  • Open and manage multiple windows side by side on a single screen when analyzing and trading options.


  • Complicated fee structure.

Fees: IBKR Lite charges $0.65 per contract for a price of $0.10 or more; $0.50 per contract for a price of $0.05 to $0.09; and $0.25 per contract for a price of $0.05 or less.

Website: Interactive Brokers

#2) e*Trade

Best for low-cost stock, ETF, and options trading.


e*Trade is a popular broker for options as well as stocks, and ETF trading because of its commission-free offers for active traders. It also supports the trading of bonds and other assets as well hence can be rated the best trading platform for options for diversified investors. Options traders benefit from using advanced trading strategies provided by the platform.

It provides multiple options trading tools that help you to trade options on stocks, indexes, and futures. These include a customizable options chain, earnings move analyzer, the strategy seeks, risk slide, spectral analysis, preset scans, and risk/reward probabilities.

You can, for instance, use these tools to scan for option trades that fit your criteria based on investment, price, and date.


  • Covered calls, buy-writers (buy stock and sell calls simultaneously), covered call rolling (buy a call to close and sell a different call), long calls, long puts, married puts, collars, long straddles, and strangles, debit spreads, credit spreads, butterflies, condors, naked puts, etc. Strategies available depend on whether the account is Level 1, 2, 3, or 4. Margin approval is required for levels 3 and 4.
  • Zero account minimums. At least $500 for automated investment strategies.
  • Options screeners and tools to help research and implement preferred strategies. The Live Action tool helps identify unusual options and volatility activity in the market.
  • Visualize potential trades to recognize the maximum profit or loss in a strategy. Show risk-reward on options trades.
  • Trading idea generators on the Live Action tool also make it the best trading platform for options. Charting tools: 145 drawing tools, chart studies, and indicators.
  • Real-time and custom reports and analyses. Portfolio analysis.
  • Demo accounts, educational resources, tax planning information, and other trader support tools.
  • Use tools to discover options on futures within 24 hours of reacting to events and news. Hedge, earn premiums, and speculate while using less money upfront.

How to trade options on e*Trade:

Step #1: Open and verify an account with the broker.

Step #2: Research options, identify potential opportunities using chats and analyses, build a trading strategy, use a strategy optimizer tool to scan the market for potential strategy ideas based on your criteria, then use options chains to compare potential stock or ETF options trade and make your selections.

Step #3: Test your strategies using the options analyzer tool to see maximum profits and losses, the options income back-testing tool to view historical returns, and the options income finder to screen for income opportunities. Enter your trades, create an exit plan, adjust as needed, or close the position.

Supported Platforms: Mobile Android and iOS, and two web apps namely E-Trade Web and Power E-Trade.


  • Multiple investment options in terms of assets offered for trading.
  • Free access to financial consultants and specialists, including options experts.
  • Paper trading, and strong educational resources.
  • Simple to complex options strategies. Options trading orders from Level 1 to 4.
  • 10 cents price for close short options and no contract fee.


  • Only bank transfer.
  • Higher options trading fees for less frequent traders.

Fees: $0.65 per contract without a base commission. Discounted fee of $0.50 for traders who do 30 or more trades per quarter. $1.50 futures options per contract. $0 base for index options.

Website: e*Trade

#3) Fidelity

Best for investors who aren’t actively trading on margins; and fractional asset investments.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity offers options trading tools that allow traders to create, perform, and develop their own strategies through research and analysis. It provides vast educational resources and webinars by professionals and third-party experts, as well as in-house coaching sessions which can help both beginner and advanced options traders.

The OptionsPlay tool helps traders find profitable investment opportunities at a 33% discount. The Fidelity Rewards+ offers a $0.65 fee waiver when you trade up to $100,000 contracts over a 12-month period.


  • The strategy guide lets you filter strategies based on outlook, profit, and risk.
  • Independent research to help scan the market for trading ideas and opportunities.
  • No contract fee for US online traders.
  • Margin rates are as low as 7.75% (base 3.075%) for a debit balance of $1 m+. Up to 12.075% for a balance of between $0-$24,999. Depends on the outstanding margin balance.
  • No account opening minimums.
  • Options trading in IRA investment accounts.
  • Strategies to trade include covered calls and puts, buy-writes, rolling covered calls, cash-covered puts, calls, and puts, straddles and strangles, spreads, put-short stock secured, cash-covered puts, and uncovered calls and puts. Availability depends on the account tier.
  • Three-tier options account for levels based on risk and complexity. Approval is needed based on experience, objectives, and financial situation.
  • Profit, probability, and loss calculators analyze trading ideas or existing positions.

How to trade options on Fidelity:

Step #1: Open and verify a brokerage account with the broker. Apply to become an options trader. This can be done online and will take 1-5 days. Multiple types of accounts are available.

Step #2: Once approved, deposit the money. Find opportunities, analyze trades, identify ideas, and do research. Choose options by type and click buy and sell, choose strikes by expiration, etc, choose the type of order and strategies and enter the amount, preview the order, and proceed to buy/sell.

Supported Platforms: Desktop PC and MAC-based Active Trader Pro, Android, iOS, and web.


  • Fidelity offers options market insights and actionable trade ideas weekly to help traders improve their game.
  • A low transparent fee of $0.65 per contract. Commission-free trade.
  • Diverse investment opportunities in terms of asset diversity.
  • Simple to advanced options, trades, and strategies.
  • Build trades easily with tools.
  • Huge selection of investment options.


  • No commodities or futures options.

Fees: Free for US online traders, $0.65 per contract. Activity assessment fees for sell orders ($0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). Options regulatory fee ($0.02 to $0.04) also apply. $0 for buy-to-close orders of $0.65 or less.

Website: Fidelity

#4) Tradier Brokerage

Best for diversity in professional trading platforms by third parties, API, and tech support.

Tradier Brokerage

Tradier provides 14 options markets and has multiple trading tools that provide simple to advanced trading support to options traders. It can mostly be helpful for completely customizable trading scenarios as well as advanced options trading.

The platform has no minimum balance requirements unless when you want to trade advanced strategies such as writing uncovered puts ($10,000), uncovered calls ($50,000), and uncovered index options ($100,000). Margin trading requires at least $2,000.


  • Strategies depend on the trader level going up to level 6. Some include naked call and put writing, naked index option writing, option spread permissions, etc. Approvals are needed to upgrade to levels.
  • Multiple trading tools that offer diverse features. You can, for instance, use Quantcha to search opportunities, as a strategy screener, and market scanner.
  • Advanced simulators.
  • APIs for integrating customized and self-coded trading strategies and terminals.
  • The margin rate is 5.25% for all.
  • Charting, analyses, risk analyses, simulation, and educational resources.
  • Broker-assisted trades at a fee.
  • Deposit methods include ACH, check, bank wire, and automated customer account transfers.
  • Margin trading accounts require a minimum of $2,000. They carry a 5.25% interest rate.
  • Paper trading.

How to trade options on Tradier Brokerage:

Step #1: Open an account at https://onboarding.tradier.com and wait for approval.

Step #2: Research opportunities, analyze trades, scan opportunities, and place trades.

Supported Platforms: Mobile apps (Android and iOS), web apps, desktop.


  • Multiple investment opportunities.
  • Competitive margin rates.
  • High-quality execution, real-time market data, and subscriptions.
  • Very active traders benefit from low monthly subscription fees while less active ones can benefit from pre-contract trading fees.
  • Good customer support.
  • Simple to more advanced multi-legged orders.


  • No free third-party research tools or services.
  • Multiple fees are charged on things like paper trading statements, inactivity, etc.

Fees: $10 monthly subscription for commission-free trades or pay $0.35 per contract. Other fees include a $50 inactivity fee for US accounts making less than two trades per year. $9 per order product fee.

Website: Tradier Brokerage

#5) Ally Invest

Best for low-cost options trading.


Ally Invest provides tools to discover, analyze, and take advantage of trading opportunities. This includes profit/loss graphs, probability calculators, options chains, research and market data, etc. Like many other brokers, Ally lets you invest in multiple other assets in addition to options, thus being suitable for diversified investors.


  • No minimum balance requirement.
  • Calculate Greeks with the overall strategy evaluation tool. This tool also tests strategy against different volatility settings.
  • Educational resources, tutorials, guides, and the Stock Play of the Day YouTube series.
  • Margin rates are 3.25% to 7.75%.
  • P&L charts, strategy view, quick analysis, probability analysis, Greeks streaming, rolling, grouping, 8 total columns, etc.

How to trade options on Ally Invest:

Step #1: Create and verify an account with the broker.

Step #2: Make analyses, screen opportunities, do research, and place trades.

Step #3: Select the type of options to trade from the option chains, enter the order type, and amount, and proceed to trade.

Supported Platforms: Mobile (iOS and Android), web, and desktop platforms.


  • Quite low fees compared to other platforms.
  • Multiple investment options: ETFs, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Robo-advisor for automated advice on investment.


  • No paper trading.

Fees: Commission-free trading plus $0.50 per contract.

Website: Ally Invest

#6) Webull

Best for active traders who are looking for commission-free investments; expert market data, extended hours trading; and cryptocurrency trading.


Webull suits beginner traders with its paper trading platform as well as advanced traders with its advanced strategies, analytics, and research tools. This means you can use charting and market analytics to better your understanding of the market before trading options here.


  • Free real-time OPRA and Index data. Cboe Global Indices Feed.
  • 11 options trading strategies. These include a single option, covered stock, straddle, butterfly, iron condor, etc.
  • Customizable options chain, multi-leg option quotes, and real-time charts.
  • Connect with other traders to discuss market trends and strategies.
  • Earn 10 free stocks after deposit.


  • No contract fees or commissions.
  • No assignments or exercise fees.
  • Advanced charting and technical indicators.
  • Extensive research and educational tools.
  • Beginner-friendly for instance for its paper trading platform. It also suits pro and expert traders.
  • No minimum deposit.
  • Competitive margin rates. Margin trading.
  • Multiple assets to trade for diversified traders.


  • Potential give up on execution due to payment for order flow.

Platforms Supported: Web, desktop, and mobile.

Fees: Zero open and close.

Website: Webull

#7) Merrill Edge

Best for long-term investors, high-quality research, and low account minimums.

Merrill - Options Trading Platforms

Merrill charges industry-average options trading fees of $0.65 without any commissions although assignment fees may also apply. Like many other trading platforms, you can use advanced tools to generate trade ideas based on factors like strategy, sentiment, and risk exposure.

MarketPro helps traders screen and deploy options strategies with ease. Traders also benefit from options-specific research and insight, such as through access to Overwriting Trade Ideas report. There are also screeners that help traders maximize profits. It uses Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch (BofAML) smart order router.


  • 5 options market.
  • Simple to advanced options trading strategies.
  • Margin account which requires a minimum balance of $2,000.
  • The minimum size to trade is 100 shares of the underlying asset/security.
  • Stock and stock index options are provided.
  • Charting, research, and analytics tools watch lists and market updates.

Platforms Supported: Android, iOS, web.


  • Diverse investment options in various assets in addition to options. Futures, crypto, and futures options are missing.
  • Proprietary and third-party research.
  • No account minimums save those that trade on margins.
  • No fees for inactivity on accounts as some brokers would charge. No fees for paper statements, trade confirmations, or sending checks.


  • No future options that many people would like to trade.
  • No simulated or paper trading, back-testing, or automated trading capabilities.

Fees: $0 per leg plus $0.65 per contract. Broker-assisted trades cost $29.95 per trade. Other fees include sending wires and account transfers.

Website: Merrill Edge

#8) Lightspeed

Best for high-volume equities, options, and futures traders.


Lightspeed defies most broker platforms by requiring a $10,000 minimum deposit which limits many from using it. It does not charge any base commission on options and the per-contract charge is $0.60 for accounts trading under 500 contracts per month.

Large-volume traders with more than 100,000 contracts per month pay only $0.20 per contract. This makes it the best options trading platforms/app for large-volume traders. However, there is a $25 minimum monthly commission fee for accounts under $15,000.


  • Third-party data and analytics providers: TipRanks and others.
  • $1 minimum trades for options.
  • Historical charts, watch lists, TipRanks analyst research, and level 1 streaming data. Advanced analytics and market scanners.
  • Routing systems send orders to 100 destinations. Pit stops at intermediary brokerage firms are limited to accelerating order fulfillment by seconds.
  • Margin rates: 5% to 7.5% depending on the amount borrowed.
  • Options trading course.

Platforms Supported: Web, mobile (Android and iOS apps), and desktop.


  • Affordable options trading, especially for high-volume traders.
  • Trading, education, and analytics resources are available.


  • Many types of fees eat into trader profits. High account minimum deposits

Fees: From $0.20 to $0.60 per contract. $130 monthly platform access fee for the desktop-based Lightspeed Trader platform. Routing fees of between $0.0031 to $0.0036 apply for NYSE orders for those using routing systems.

Website: Lightspeed

#9) TradeStation

Best for pro investors looking for crypto trading, trade customization, and $0 trade commissions.


TradeStation offers options trading among many other financial instruments and is therefore suitable for diversified traders. If you are an advanced options trader, TradeStation is rated as the best options trading app with its great tools for trade research, analytics tools, trading ideas, and opportunity discovery.

However, besides the $0 commission charge on options, you have to maintain a $500 minimal balance, pay a $50 inactivity fee if and when you do not keep the balance, and pay $0.60 per contract for a minimum of $1 per contract.


  • Strong free educational resources, trading ideas, research, a news feed, tutorials, live events, webinars, and analytics tools. Over 180 customizable technical and fundamental indicators. The latter can also be used for algorithmic orders. A demo account is also available.
  • Dynamic strategy-based option chains, what-if position graphs for analysis for maximum gains and loss, and other factors. The latter includes risk measures.
  • Place simply to complex spreads with just a few clicks.
  • Options for both equities and futures.
  • 10 options markets.
  • Trading tools include OptionStation Pro.
  • Dynamic market scanning, customizable charts, order management, fast order execution, order automation; order optimization, testing, and monitoring.

Platforms Supported: Desktop, web, and mobile (iOS and Android app).


  • Multiple asset trading diversification options.
  • The vast amount and diverse types of learning resources; demo accounts.
  • Advanced analytics tools. Computer-based analysis and trading for even the most advanced options traders.
  • Rich market data.


  • Many add-on research tools are charged. Some strategies are also charged. Charges on account inactivity.

Fees: $0.60 per contract. An additional $1 per contract fee for index options. $1 per contract for direct routing. Another fee may apply such as option strategies that call for multiple purchases and sales of options.

Website: TradeStation

#10) Tastyworks

Best for huge-volume traders and low minimum deposits.

Tastywork - Options Trading Platforms

Tastyworks allows traders to trade options as part of other financial instruments and has no minimum balance requirements, but margin accounts need to have at least $2,000.

It is rated as one of the best options trading platforms for many reasons, one of them being traders getting clean charts with 100 indicators to customize trades. Other benefits include pre-set watch lists and customizable options chains.


  • Payoff curve to adjust positions and see how the changes affect payoff. This is a good alternative to the option chains.
  • Analyze potential positions in different ways. Visualize possible price changes, risks, and rewards depending on market conditions.
  • Use the Active feature to order and manage positions.
  • Preset options strategies for less advanced traders. Choose from 20+ strategies.
  • Follow successful traders according to their display date, reason, P/L, and other factors.
  • Learn more about trading options through the Tastytrade feature.
  • Portfolio margin, paper trading, open API, new scripting language, etc.

Platforms Supported: Web and mobile apps (Android and iOS).


  • Futures options contracts are available.
  • Beginner-friendly in terms of strategies (pre-set).
  • Fee benefits for large volume traders.
  • No minimum balance.
  • Follow the feeds and expert traders you wish to follow.


  • Limited options strategies for advanced traders.

Fees: No base commission. The fee is $1 per contract on the buy; $0 on the sell. $2.5 per futures option contract. The maximum after which you cannot pay the fee is $10 per leg.

Website: Tastyworks

#11) Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab charges an industry-standard fee of $0.65 per contract and aligns its offers for beginner traders by offering a satisfaction guarantee (you get refunds for an eligible fee or commission if not satisfied).

Besides, it is one of the best Options Trading Platforms because traders can use Idea Hub to narrow down trading ideas based on factors such as market action, earnings, and income-based strategies.


  • Pre-defined and customizable options screeners. Use them to find trades based on your criteria.
  • View real-time quotes using full option chains.
  • Options strategy finder.
  • Broker-assisted trading at $25 per contract on top of per online contract charge of $0.65.
  • 8 options markets.
  • Simple to complex strategies including buy-writes, write/unwinds, etc.
  • The trade and Probability Calculator helps assess potential risks, rewards, and pricing scenarios.
  • Quick order placement.
  • Use Walk Limit to automatically adjust limit prices across specified criteria and price increments to achieve favorable execution prices.
  • Options Trading Specialist.
  • Market analysis, commentaries, insights, and trading knowledge and education.

Platforms Supported: Web, mobile, and desktop.


  • Zero minimum balance.
  • Diversify in trading stocks, ETFs, and options.
  • No charges for advisory on robo-advisor.
  • Advanced options trade analysis, research, and execution.


  • High investment minimum for robo-advisor: $5,000.
  • Highly managed account fees. The minimum investment is $25,000 and fees can be as high as 0.90%.

Fees: $0.65 per contract. Multi-leg options fees, and SEC exchange process fees.

Website: Charles Schwab

#12) TD Ameritrade

Best for investor education/advice, fund investors, and those looking for advanced trading tools.

TD Ameritrade - Options Trading Platforms

TD Ameritrade stands out for top options traders with its desktop, web, and mobile trading tools that offer more than beginner and advanced traders can look for in an options broker. It is rated as one of the best options trading platforms/software not just because of its popularity and being a tried-and-tested software, but because you get top-notch features.

You get Options Statistics, Options Probabilities, Sizzle Index, and Analyze Tab tools to help you make informed trading decisions. You can also gain access to expansive trading education and ideas on community forums. It also charges an industry-standard fee of $0.65 for online trading but OTC trades are charged a commission of $6.95.


  • Options trading in IRA accounts for qualified investors.
  • Strategy Roller to automate strategy using pre-defined criteria. Roll covered call strategy forward every month.
  • Future options are available.
  • Portfolio margin trading.
  • No trade minimums.
  • Simple to advanced options strategies.
  • Fully customizable trading experience.
  • Risk-free paper trading or simulated trading.
  • Advanced trade analytics – 400+ technical studies, charts, and drawing tools.
  • Phone-assisted and broker-assisted trading at a fee.

Platforms Supported: Web, mobile, and desktop.


  • Advanced analytics, simulated trading, and educational tools.
  • Custom alerts, social sentiments, and ideas on trading forums.
  • Advanced trading tools with rich features: mobile, desktop, and web.
  • $0 account minimum.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Good customer support.


  • Many disclosures.
  • No card deposits.

Fees: $0.65 for online trading but OTC trades are charged a commission of $6.95. Broker-assisted trades cost $0.65 plus $25 per contract. Over-the-phone trades cost $0.65 plus $5 per contract. $0 for exercises and assignments.

Website: TD Ameritrade

#13) Robinhood

Best for young and beginner traders looking to slide into options and stock markets.

Robinhood - Options Trading Platforms

Robinhood rates as one of the best Options Trading Platforms for beginners, not advanced traders because it lacks advanced research and analytics tools. It is a platform for top options traders because there are no commissions charged. It, however, provides simple to advanced options trading strategies.


  • No exercise or assignment fees.
  • Profit/Loss chart to visualize potential profits or losses.
  • Options tier levels 1 to 3 determine strategies to use. Level 1 account does not access options trading.
  • Strategies include puts, calls, long calls, puts, covered calls, cash-covered puts, credit and debit spreads, iron condors, calendar spreads, and others.

Platforms Supported: Web and mobile apps.


  • Beginner-friendly.
  • No fees for trading options.
  • Basic to advanced options orders are available.


  • No advanced data or charting.

Fees: One of the Commission-free Options trading platforms.

Website: Robinhood


Most trading platforms for options offer zero base commissions and a fee of $0.65. We detailed cheaper places where to trade options including Webull, which offers complete commission and fee-free options trading. Robinhood is also a commission-free options trading platform.

Ally charges as low as $0.50 per contract, Tradier Brokerage at $0.35 per contract or a flat $10 monthly fee, and e*Trade at $0.50 for active traders. Quite a number of options brokers charge extra fees in the form of inactivity, SEC, over-the-phone trades, over-the-counter trades, broker-assisted trades, and other fees so you might need to confirm before signing up.

Most of the Options Trading Platforms also provide educational tools which suit beginners. Robinhood, for instance, is the best options trading platform for beginners.

However, very good Options Trading Platforms provide advanced options strategies, trade research and trade analytics tools, fundamental and technical analysis tools, expert commentaries, social trading, and other support tools for advanced trading.

Research Process:

  • Total Options Trading Platforms Initially Shortlisted for Review: 35
  • Total Options Trading Platforms Reviewed: 13
  • Time Taken to Research and Review this Article on Options Trading Platforms: 26 Hrs
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